Mobile, Ala. — After a rather average senior season at the University of Michigan, quarterback Shea Patterson had a choice to head to the NFL or apply for an exemption and return to the school for another season.
After careful consideration, he decided it was time to make the leap.
"I considered it for a little bit, but you know, I just felt like it was time," Patterson said after a Senior Bowl practice this week.
"I felt like I was ready. Mentally, I was ready. Physically, I'm ready. I just think it's that itch to the get to the next level and prove what I got."
Patterson had a roller coaster college career, starting at Ole Miss before transferring to Michigan, where he played his final two seasons. During that stretch, he had three different head coaches, four different offensive coordinators and three different quarterback coaches.
That's hardly ideal circumstances for a young, developing passer, but he believes it serves as an advantage heading into the beginning of his professional career.
"Just having to learn a new system every spring and work with a new quarterback coach, just forced me to be a quick learner and adapting ability," he said.
Despite completing just 56.2 percent of his passes for the Wolverines last year, Patterson had a chance to rehab his draft stock this week at the Senior Bowl. Visual evidence would suggest he failed to do so.
Sure, there were flashes of his ability, like when he delivered a perfect deep pass down the sideline, over the shoulder of Liberty's Antonio Gandy-Golden, but the receiver couldn't make the grab. Or when Patterson scrambled to his right avoid pressure during Thursday's practice and delivered an accurate bullet while on the move.
But largely, accuracy was an issue throughout the practice week, whether he was under-throwing or over-throwing passes. He also put one in the breadbasket of Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson during full-team work on Thursday that resulted in an interception.
Patterson had several passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage, something ESPN analyst Todd McShay attributed to the quarterback's mechanics, holding the ball low prior to delivering his throws.
Additionally, there were multiple snap issues. Patterson put at least three on the ground over three days, drawing the ire of Lions coach Matt Patricia on Wednesday. The coach's curse-filled rant was captured on ESPN's broadcast of the practice.
Those struggles, combined with his disappointing 2019 season, have left doubts with some analysts that Patterson will even be drafted in April.
"I try to find a silver lining about every player, but I have nothing today for Shea Patterson," Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller wrote on Twitter this week. "He struggled with accuracy and had no zip to power through wind when throwing into it. I don’t think he’s draftable."